A night at LACMA's Phantom Sightings

I have seen so much press and talk about this show at LACMA.
This art show plays on many levels: it shows Chicano/a art after the 'movimiento;' Chicano/a art that isn't necessarily concerned with calling itself Chicana/o art; and art by Chicana/os which has been absent from LACMA for 20 plus years. Many are also calling this the Post ASCO Chicano/a art show. ASCO being the bad ass art collective mentioned in this blog here.

I was very excited to go and celebrate the recognition of ASCO, my mentor Harry Gamboa Jr., and to see some of today's Chicano/a art stars stick a new pie in the face of LACMA for ignoring us for so long.

R and I got there and immediately saw Gamboa, with his pal and collaborator Humberto Sandoval.
We chatted with or at least spotted, Leo Limon, Barbara Carrasco, Reina Prado, Fernando Galvez, Todd of Ollin, Luis Vega, Raul Baltazar, Rueben Mendoza, Sandra de la Loza, Yreina Cervantes, Rueben Martinez, Adrian Rivas, Elias Serna, John Valadez and so many whose names unfortunately I can't remember now. It was a night full of the of La Chicanidada universe. At every turn there were old friends introducing me to people I have read or heard about. It was Chicano/a heaven.
The first picture you will see when you first walk in is Gamboa's 'Pie in de Face,' pic where he shot Patsi Valdez standing on the bridge of LACMA where Gamboa, Herron and Gronk had spray painted their names after LACMA told Gamboa that Chicanos don't make art, they make graffitti. It says so much that nearly 30 years ago LACMA didn't know what Chicanos were capable of and thus became part of Chicano art's most famous image, thanks to ASCO. From there you are treated to more of Gamboa's pics of ASCO in action. After that introduction you are taken on a trip into the contemporary landscape of art by Chicanos today. The pieces were all amazing. I can't begin to say enough of how each of them spoke on so many levels.

Go see this show. Go alone. Take all your family. Take your time. Meditate. Breathe it in. This is like fine tequila, you need to savor the subtleties. Some will make you laugh right out, others will have you scratching your head, many will take you places known, and to some places not visited, yet.

After this show, we will no longer be seen as phantoms in our own lands.


Rubén said...

yeah, man. exciting! good to see you there in full effect.

btw, in both cases, it's Rubén.


cindylu said...

i'm excited about this! yay. now to make the time to go...

Lorena said...

Great photos and post!

The bridge photo has always been my favorite. Should have picked it up when he was selling the print on his website few years back...those days are done, Gamboa is now epic.

Will have to coordinate a trip down to catch this exhibit or hope it makes it up to San Francisco.

Tania said...

Mr. Pachuco, awesome post! Harry is one of my mentors too, and I could never thank him enough for contributing to my success. BTW, you're on my blog roll. 'Phantom Sightings' was a great experience.


Ulises said...

Do you remember the one painting of the Homies intertwined with a classical greek painting of white people having sex or what not? It was called Barrio of Earthly Delights. I took my nephew to see this show and we were standing in front of this painting discussing it, when this white older lady came in out of the blue and said to us nonchalantly "This painting has a lot of evil and a lot of good". . . I agreed but then I said: Wait, what do you consider good and what is evil? She took a moment to answer and said: FINE. She spent the next five minutes following around in the gallery trying to explain herself to me.

One of the best shows I have ever been to.

Anonymous said...

the date farmers are not part of the show- whats up with that

Anonymous said...
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Pachuco 3000 said...

photos altered by request

El Random Hero said...

I remember going to the show alone and it flew over my head because I didn't know then what I know now. Still, pictures of a laundry mat window tagged ?